Safely removing animal heads for rabies testing
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SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING. Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. WHY SUBMIT?. Exposure history Bite (Large rodents*, and all other mammals) Unknown exposure – Bats Do not send exposed animals Surveillance Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes

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SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING

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Safely removing animal heads for rabies testing

SAFELY REMOVING ANIMAL HEADS FOR RABIES TESTING

Wyatt Frampton, DVM, MPH

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food


Why submit

WHY SUBMIT?

  • Exposure history

    • Bite (Large rodents*, and all other mammals)

    • Unknown exposure – Bats

    • Do not send exposed animals

  • Surveillance

    • Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes

    • No exposure but abnormal behavior

      * Beaver or similar sized


Where to submit

WHERE TO SUBMIT?

  • Rabies testing only:

    Unified State Laboratories: Public Health

    4431 South 2700 West

    Taylorsville, UT 84119-8600

    Phone: (801) 965-2584


Where to submit1

WHERE TO SUBMIT?

  • Disease diagnostic purposes

    • Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

      Main Laboratory Central Utah Branch Laboratory

      950 East 1400 North 1451 South Main

      Logan UT 84341 Nephi UT 84648

      Phone: 435-797-1895Phone: 435-623-1402


What to submit

WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Whole carcass

    • Bats (Preferably dead)

      • Specie identification

    • Rodents

      • Only submitted on rare occasions

      • Small rodents


What to submit1

WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Whole heads

    • Dogs

    • Cats

    • Wildlife (Raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes)


What to submit2

WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Brain

    • Large dogs

    • Livestock (Horses, Cattle, Pigs, Sheep, Goats)

    • Big game


What to submit3

WHAT TO SUBMIT?

  • Brain

    • Fresh

    • Frozen delays the process

    • Not fixed

    • Include brain stem and some spinal cord


How to collect

HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Whole animals – Bats

    • It must be assumed that all bats may be infected with rabies virus

      • So use caution to prevent exposure

    • Use an acceptable method of euthanasia

      • Freezing is not an acceptable method

    • Ship to laboratory using approved shipping procedures


Acceptable methods of euthanasia bats

Acceptable methods of euthanasia - Bats

  • Inhalant anesthetics (liquid)

    • ex: halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane, methoxyflurane, desflurane

  • Barbiturates

    • intravenous or intraperitoneal

    • Limitation: DEA Controlled substances, must be licensed to administer

  • Potassium chloride

    • intravenous or intracardiac, in conjunction with an inhalation anesthetic

  • http://www.batworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BWSposition_statement-euthanasia.pdf

  • http://michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Humane_Euthanasia_of_Bats-Final_244979_7.pdf


Approved shipping procedures

APPROVED SHIPPING PROCEDURES

  • Goals of shipping

    • Must not expose others to infectious materials

    • Prevent leakage of potentially infectious material

    • Arrival of specimens in an state that will allow accurate results

  • Three layers

    • A leak proof primary receptacle

    • A leak proof secondary packaging

    • An outer rigid packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use


How to collect1

HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Whole heads

    • Remember that in collecting heads for rabies testing, the collector should have two primary goals

      • Submit a good specimen that will allow for accurate testing

      • Prevent human infection

    • Remove head in the neck region

    • Insure that the brain stem is included


How to collect2

HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Supplies needed

    • Sharp knife and sharpener

      • Optional - sharp hacksaw or back saw, pruning shears


How to collect3

HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Supplies needed

    • Protective clothing:

      • Waterproof gloves (preferably disposable)

      • Mask (disposable or launderable)

      • Safety glasses or goggles

      • Coveralls and/or waterproof apron


How to collect4

HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Supplies needed

    • Cleaning Supplies

      • Detergent

      • Disinfectant

      • Paper towels

      • Plastic trash bags

    • Pesticides

      • Fleas and ticks


How to collect5

HOW TO COLLECT?

  • Lay animal on its back and extend the head by pushing top of nose toward ground or bend neck back over edge of table.

    • Locate larynx (voice box)

    • Using a sharp knife, make an incision through the skin and continue cutting down through the trachea and esophagus to the backbone

    • Disarticulate the atlanto-occipital joint

    • Cut remaining muscle and skin with the knife to completely free the head from the body


How to collect6

HOW TO COLLECT?


How to store and ship

HOW TO STORE AND SHIP?

  • Keep refrigerated

    • Do not freeze

  • Ship early in the week so laboratory gets it before the weekend

    • Prevents it from being held at room temperature in a shipping room for extended purposes

  • Depending where the victim was bitten, may require delivery to the lab ASAP


Last thoughts

LAST THOUGHTS

  • When in doubt – call the laboratory for procedures to ship

  • Include complete form

  • Be safe

  • Questions?


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